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Thread: .243 ok for Sika?

  1. #1

    .243 ok for Sika?

    Hi folks,

    I'll shortly be looking for a second-hand rifle, which will be used purely for stalking Sika deer.

    I was thinking any deer-legal calibre would do (in Ireland that means .243 and up), with the exception of .243, which would be a bit too close to the .223 I already have. But now I'm thinking maybe it would be a mistake to exclude .243, as this is one of the most common calibres (important when looking for s/h), ammo is easily obtained, the recoil is negligible, etc., etc.

    Does anyone have any experience of .243 with Sika? I know shot placement is paramount whatever you're shooting at, but sika have a reputation of being pretty hard to put down for their size, and I don't want to risk being undergunned. And I don't want to go through the hassle of buying a rifle and then feeling the need to change to a more powerful calibre.

    Most, if not all, shots would be taken well within 200 yards, but I wouldn't like to find myself having to renounce potential opportunities for longer shots of up to maybe 250-300 yards purely because of the calibre I'm using.

    Any thoughts appreciated.
    Last edited by Sako75Hunter; 14-08-2016 at 08:42.

  2. #2
    I'd go with your initial thought. No need to go for the legal minimum, it's not ideal. A .270 would fit the bill.. Easily sourced ammo, flat shooting and low recoil with 130gr bullets, and will knock Sika over without hassle.

  3. #3
    I shoot a lot of Sika in Ireland and a .243 will do the job however if you are on open ground as suggested by your 200-300 yard comment it wouldn't be my choice if ammo availability is a big consideration I'd find it very hard to pass up the .308 you'll have no problem with ammo selection or availability and you won't be found wanting.

  4. #4
    I used to shoot sika with 243 and 95 grain ballistic tips, federal ammo from memory. They did the job but even engine room shot beasts could run on, often into deep cover down in dorset where I shot. Ended up with a 308 and 150 grain nosler tips. Greater knock down power and better blood for any tracking. I was also getting into reds up north so the 308 was on the agenda for that as well. I now shot a 308 on all uk deer, one rifle and one bullet choice.

  5. #5
    For sika would suggest going for for 270 or 308.
    Both calibres are easy to get ammo for and will drop sika effectively.
    Would avoid the option of a smaller calibre with ballistic tips, as this will result in excessive meat damage

  6. #6
    I have used .243 .260 and .308 for Sika and don't find a great deal of difference provided the shooter does their bit only use 123 gr in the 308 that's good medicin but didn't notice much difference when using 85gr out of the .243.
    You will have greater success with a 243 that you are comfortable with and fits well rather than a larger calibre which doesn't fit well or you are not confident with.

  7. #7
    I want to thank all of the above for their extremely helpful comments.

    Any others welcome...

  8. #8
    SD Regular
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    On the banks of the Columbia River, Portland OR. USA
    I would imagine a .270 Win or a 25/06, would be ideal. The .270 shooting a 110 Barnes TTX is catastrophic for a deer hit in the engine room and the recoil is not much more than a .243 shooting a 100 gr. I read many posts on this site of people shooting red deer with the 25/06 and getting the job done nicely, again recoil is light. Good luck.
    Last edited by A Guy Out West; 14-08-2016 at 17:30.

  9. #9
    I use a 243 for my private Sika shooting, don't find it a problem. Like said, shot placement and bullet choice are the two key things. I also use a 270 and it is a cracking round for Sika. Going by what you've said I would say get a 270, ammo is plentiful. Plus it's a calibre that is man enough for anything your going to stalk in the Uk and Ireland

  10. #10
    All the calibers mentioned above including the .243 will be more than capable of the job, the man that introduced me to shooting deer 20 years ago shot as many deer as most on this site and most of them Red and Sika were shot with a .22 magnum when in Ireland you Wernt allowed a caliber that is now classed as deer legal. But from my xperience and especially given Sikas habits and habitats and the distances discussed I wouldn't choose a .243 as I'd like to be using 100gn bullets at a minimum and a lot of .243 don't always shoot the heavier rounds as well hence why I'd go .270 or .308 and given rural Ireland RFD's you shouldn't get stuck waiting on ammo either.

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